Can the Business Model of Handelsbanken Be an Archetype for Small and Medium Sized Banks? A Comparative Case Study
Journal of Applied Business Research, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 869-882, May/June 2014
14 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2015
Date Written: 2015
The Danish Banking sector faces increasing requirements regarding regulation and profitability, which especially threatens small and medium sized banks. This study analyzes whether the successful business model of Handelsbanken (‘The Handelsbanken Way’) can serve as a blueprint for small and medium sized banks. We conduct a comparative case study by interviewing Handelsbanken and the disguised ‘Danish Local Bank’ (DLB). The DLB is a representative example of small and medium sized Danish banks. This study is structured according to the frameworks from business model implementations and from implied organizational structures.
Using the notion of Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010), this study reveals only minor differences in the business models of Handelsbanken and DLB. Despite the supposedly obvious advantages of ‘The Handelsbanken Way,’ this study suggests that the financially troubled small and medium sized banks in Denmark will not necessarily benefit from the tactical choice of decentralization unless they incorporate specific adjustments. This study contributes to the existing theory if Handelsbanken’s approach to banking can improve the situation of financially troubled small and medium sized banks.
Keywords: Business Model; Decentralization; Handelsbanken; Banking; Organizational Structure; Financial Crisis
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